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Cornell University Library 
D 468.P22 


3 1924 027 921 844 

Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tlie Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 







Author of "Twenty Years in Baghdad and Syria,'' etc. 





Part I. 

Part II. 

Part III. 





MESOPOTAMIA and its adjacent 
plains have been associated with the 
most important turning-points of 
history. Geographically situated at the heart 
of the Eastern Hemisphere, these lands have 
frequently played a leading part in the 
world's activities. They have contained for 
millenniums the capital cities of great world- 
empires. They have been closely connected 
with the most thrilling epochs of history, and, 
once again, by reason of the Bagdad railway 
schemes, Mesopotamia controls the main 
currents of this unprecedented commotion 
and holds the key to the whole world's 

Many kindly friends have often, in jest, 
called me "the Rural Dean of the Garden of 
Eden," in order to remind me that man's 
earthly paradise was situated somewhere in 
my Mesopotamian parish ; but I protest that 

2 Mesopotamia : 

I have never seen it, for, under the Turkish 
regime, that primitive paradise was unfor- 
tunately nowhere to be found. 

I met, however, in Bagdad a clever im- 
postor, a wily tobacconist. Who closed up his 
shop and travelled extensively through 
Europe and America, collecting large sums 
of money from gullible Westerners by posing 
as the famous "Discoverer of Noah's Ark and 
the Golden Mountains of the Moon." These 
also I have never seen ; but, apart from all 
spurious claims and fantastic titles, it is 
nevertheless true that Mesopotamia cradled 
the human race, nurtured it for centuries, 
until a new era was introduced by the Flood 
incidents, which are recorded not only in the 
Hebrew Scriptures, but also in interesting 
cuneiform inscriptions that have been un- 
earthed by archaeologists in Mesopotamia. 

This is essentially a land of origins. The 
oldest sea route in the world, utilised by the 
first navigators of the high seas, was the 
Persian Gulf; and the numerous mounds at 
Bahrain remind us of the world's debt to the 
Phoenicians, who gave us the alphabet and 
the earliest system of weights and measures, 
and who originally migrated to Syria from 
the shores of the Persian Gulf and the ports 
of Mesopotamia. From this land also the 
Hebrew race took its rise when Abraham 
came from Ur of the Chaldees and settled in 

Its Ancient Glories 3 

This is the home of the mighty Nimrod, 
the earliest of hunters, who founded Calneh 
or Nippur, where I was privileged to see some 
of the most ancient Assyrian treasures being 
excavated by American archaeologists. Oft- 
times have I travelled from Busrah on 
British ships conveying hundreds of Arab 
ponies to India, when I recalled the fact that 
horses were introduced into Mesopotamia 
4,000 years ago by the Kassites, who, largely 
on account of their superior mobility, were 
able to conquer a country whose inhabitants 
till then had used only asses and cattle for 

Philologists may rejoice while others will 
weep over the fact that in this plain of 
Shinar the Confusion of Tongues and the 
multiplication of dialects took place at a 
time when cuneiform characters became con- 
founded and the dwellers in Mesopotamia 
were driven forth to colonise the continents. 

But Babylon was also the mother of 
astronomy, and to her ancient system of 
dividing the day we are indebted for the 
twelve divisions on the dials of our clocks. 

The influence of Hammurabi's famous laws 
has penetrated down the ages into the legal 
codes of modern times through the intricate 
systems of Greek and Roman legislators. 

The most curious ruin in Mesopotamia is 
the unsightly mound of Akker Kuf, near 
Bagdad, connected, we are told, with the 

4 Mesopotamia : 

remote period of King Kurigalzu, who 
reigned in Babylon about the time when 
Moses was leading the Israelites from Egypt 
to Canaan. Those ancient monarchies of 
Babylonia, Assyria, Parthia, Media, and 
Persia were great and powerful in their day, 
exercising a paramount influence for many 
centuries over the major part of the world's 
politics, so that no other portion of the 
earth's surface has more constantly affected 
the history of mankind, or harboured for so 
long the forces that moved the world, than 
this land of Mesopotamia. 

The extensive ruins of Assur, north of 
Tikrit ; the mounds of Nineveh, on the 
bank of the Tigris opposite to the modern 
city of Mosul ; the ruins of Babylon, on the 
Euphrates ; and the arch at Ctesiphon, all 
testify to the old-world glories of this 
wonderful land. 

For nearly twenty years excavators have 
been busily attempting to uncover the brick- 
built palaces and temples of Nebuchad- 
nezzar ; but more than twenty years will be 
required to clear away the debris from the 
buried marble monuments of Nineveh. 

Nebuchadnezzar only revived the more 
ancient glories of Babylon when he made it 
the greatest city in the world. He was a 
remarkable builder of magnificent temples 
and palaces ; but he also extended his 
military conquests over Syria, Palestine, and 

Its Ancient Glories 5 

Egypt. When Cyrus the Persian shattered 
the Neo-Babylonian monarchy he found an 
enormous reservoir to the north of the 
capital, into which he drained the great 
river and entered the city through the dry 
bed of the Euphrates. 

The name of Cyrus recalls the return of the 
Jews from their Babylonian captivity and 
the achievements of such remarkable men as 
Nehemiah and Ezra. There are probably 
80,000 Arabic-speaking Jews now resident in 
Mesopotamia, who guard with reverence the 
traditional tombs of Joshua the High Priest 
near the city of Bagdad, of the prophet 
Ezekiel near the banks of the Euphrates, and 
of Ezra the scribe on the Tigris near 

It was Cyrus who conquered and captured 
the famous Croesus with his fabulous wealth. 
It was his son, Cambyses, who brought from 
Mesopotamia an army that snatched Egypt 
from the Pharaohs. Darius, his successor, 
bridged the Hellespont, and was defeated by 
the Greeks at Marathon, while his son, 
Xerxes, who is thought to be the Ahasuerus 
of the Book of Esther, is reported to have 
mobilised and maintained in the field an 
army of five million men, gathered from 
India, Armenia, Persia, and Mesopotamia. 
He, too, bridged and crossed the famous 
Dardanelles; he fought with Leonidas at 
Thermopylae; he burned Athens; and only 

6 Mesopotamia : 

retired to Mesopotamia after his navy was 
defeated at the battle of Salamis. 

In every school where ancient Greek is 
taught the pupils are thriUed with the 
exploits of Xenophon, who extricated the ten 
thousand from the plains of Mesopotamia 
and led them towards Erzeroum and Trebi- 
zond, back to Greece. 

Alexander the Great routed the Persians 
near Arbela, where, in the miserable modern 
Erbil, I, too, once fought all night with an 
army of ravenous cats and voracious vermin 
that devoured my breakfast and drove me at 
dawn from the dirtiest khan in Mesopotamia. 

On his return from India, Alexander chose 
the banks of the Euphrates for the capital 
city of his contemplated -world-empire, but 
before his plans were completed he died at 
Babylon. His successors, who built Seleucia 
and adorned Diarbekr with beautiful build- 
ings of costly marble and porphyry, suc- 
cumbed to the rising power of Rome. 

Mark Antony failed in B.C. 33 to acquire 
the Asiatic treasures he sought for in Palmyra, 
and met with disaster at the hands of the 
Parthians, who founded Ctesiphon, the 
capital of Mesopotamia for nearly six cen- 
turies. The Parthians supported the Palmy- 
reans till their city was destroyed by Aurelian, 
who captured the brave and beautiful Queen 
Zenobia on the banks of the Euphrates. 

Persia and Rome struggled for supremacy 

Its Ancient Glories 7 

in Mesopotamia for nearly four centuries. 
Trajan, the conqueror of Jerusalem, captured 
Ctesiphon from the Parthians, and advanced 
a Roman army for the first and only time to 
the shores of the Persian Gulf ; but he failed 
to take Hatra, a remarkable city— the home 
of architecture— about fifty miles south-west 
of Nineveh, now a comparatively unknown 
site, where are some of the best-preserved 
ruins I have seen in Mesopotamia. 

Seleucia has completely disappeared, and 
the great arch at Ctesiphon is all that remains 
of the wonderful palace of Chosroes II, who 
was the last and the most remarkable mon- 
arch of the Persian Sassanian dynasty. 
Mesopotamia was still a glorious country 
when Khalid conquered it for the Arabs and 
Islam, for ten millions of people then flour- 
ished in these well-irrigated plains, and nine- 
tenths of its fertile soil was brought under 
cultivation by the Chosroes, while Bagdad, 
under the Arabs, subsequently became the 
wealthiest and most civilised city in the 
world, with nearly two million inhabitants 
in its palmy days. 

Mesopotamia is a land of holy places and 
sacred memories to the three hundred millions 
of Mohammedans in the world. There is a 
magnificent mosque at Kazmain, where two 
gilded domes cover the tombs of eminent 
Imams ; there is another beautiful mosque 
at Samarra. These are Shiah shrines ; but 

8 Mesopotamia : 

within a mile of Kazmain, on the left bank of 
the Tigris, is the stately Hanii mosque of 
the Sunnis at Muaththam, and in Bagdad 
itself there is the famous mosque of the great 
commentator Sheikh Abd ul Kadir, visited by 
devotees from the far distant Morocco. There 
are many other mosques and tombs of- minor 
importance, but which are nevertheless well 
known throughout the Moslem world, such 
as the tomb of Mohammed's barber, Salman 
Pak, within a stone's throw of the ruined arch 
of Ctesiphon. There are two sacred places, 
however, near the banks of the Euphrates 
which are second only in importance to the 
sacred cities of Mecca and Medina. These are 
the holy cities of Kerbela and Nejif, where 
were enacted the tragedies commemorated by 
the Shiahs everywhere, and in India by 
Sunnis and Shiahs alike, in the Passion play 
and festival of the tenth day of Moharram. 
Ali, the fourth Khalif of Islam, is buried at 
Nejif, and the disputes which arose concern- 
ing his successor were those that rent the 
followers of the prophet into two great sects 
of Sunnis and Shiahs, and caused the death 
of Hosein, whose tomb at Kerbela is regarded 
as the most sacred spot on earth by one-half 
of the Moslem world. Nearly 100,000 pilgrims 
from Persia and India pass annually through 
Bagdad to Kerbela and Nejif, carrying with 
them thousands of embalmed corpses for burial 
in the sacred soil around these holy shrines. 

Its Ancient Glories 9 

The fascinating stories of "The Arabian 
Nights" impressed us even in our childhood 
with the fairy splendour of the Golden Prime 
of Haroun al-Raschid when Bagdad was the 
capital of a vast Mohammedan dominion; 
when Busrah and.Kufa were rival centres of 
learning; when Arab scholars were the first 
teachers of algebra and chemistry ; when the 
light of learning was kept aglow in the East 
while barbarian Huns desolated the lands 
of Europe. 

In those enlightened days the Moslem 
Arabs did not massacre but freely fraternised 
with the Christians, whose patriarch at 
Bagdad, with twenty-five primates under 
him, guided the fortunes of many flourishing 
churches established between Edessa and 
Pekin. The Nestorian monument found in 
the Great Wall of China and the half a 
million Eastern Christians in South India 
testify to the activities of those early Meso- 
potamian Churches. 

The Arab philosophers of the Abbaside 
period persuaded the Christian theologians to 
translate into Arabic the works of Aristotle 
and Plato, so that in sut sequent years, while 
the Moorish kingdom was established in 
Spain, these Arabic versions were retrans- 
lated into the Romance languages of Europe, 
and the search for the original Greek writings 
led up to the Renaissance, which produced 
the Reformation. 

10 Mesopotamia : Its Ancient Glories 

Similarly, the discovery of America can be 
traced back to movements that took their 
rise in Mesopotamia. The Euphrates Valley 
had contained for centuries the "Royal 
Roads" from West to East, and Charlemagne 
is known to have maintained friendly com- 
munications with Haroun al-Raschid ; but, 
with the passing of the Abbasides, the rise of 
the Turks, and the fall of Constantinople, the 
world's highway was so completely blocked 
that Columbus set out to seek a safer route 
to the East, when he suddenly discovered 

Jenghis Khan, Hulagu, and Tamerlane the 
Turk of Samarkand were irresistible con- 
querors of a villainous and savage type, who 
ruthlessly destroyed the ancient glories of 

Their devastating instincts were infused 
into the Turkish tribes, whom they drove 
westward from the regions of the great Gobi 
plateau. Some of the Turkomans became 
j anizaries to the Moslem Khalif s. They in time 
usurped the authority of their masters, and 
founded the Turkish dynasty at Ghazni, till 
fresh hordes from Khorasan established the 
authority of the Seljuks ; and, finally, at 
Angora, Ertoghrul, the leader of a homeless 
Turkoman tribe, founded the empire of the 
Ottomans, who have completed the ravages 
of Jenghis Khan and made Mesopotamia the 
most desolate country on earth. 

PART 11. 


KURNAH, the traditional Sumerian site 
of man's primeval paradise, is situated 
at the southern extremity of Mesopo- 
tamia, 100 miles up the Shat el Arab from the 
Persian Gulf, where the Tigris meets a 
branch of the River Euphrates. 

My heart sank within me when the captain 
of the steamer introduced me, as we journeyed 
from Busrah, to the boundary of my new 
parish. "WeU," I said, "if this is the Garden 
of Eden portion of my district, what will the 
rest of it be like ? " 

The natural prospect was decent enough, 
but the miserable dwellings on the banks were 
buUt of mud. By the side of a tall flagstaff 
there was a temporary structure of reed mats, 
which the captain informed me was the 
Municipal Town Hall of this Turkish paradise;. 
The "Mayor" had but one duty to perform 
— he collected a tax levied upon every fruit- 
bearing palm. A bright green nubbak tree 
was declared to be the "Tree of Knowledge," 
but the captain confided in me that his father 
had planted it thirty years before. The people 
seemed desperately poor ; they cried out to 


12 Mesopotamia : 

the passengers, who threw them bread and 
oranges from the deck of the steamer. The 
dresses of the natives were truly primitive. 
Most of the children were brilliantly clad in 
nothing more than olive oil and a smile. One 
can sympathise with the British soldier in 
camp with our troops at Kurnah, who, after 
a sleepless night, exclaimed to his fellow in 
the tent : "Oh, Bill, I don't know how Adam 
and Eve got on in this place, with all these 
mosquitoes buzzing about!" "No, indeed," 
said Bill; "it wouldn't take a flaming sword 
to drive me out of the Garden of Eden." 

The alluvial deposit brought down by the 
two great rivers for hundreds of years has 
provided these extensive plains with the best 
soil possible for agricultural purposes. I 
travelled on one occasion for ten days between 
Bagdad and Mosul, passing through Samarra 
and Tikrit. It happened to be a particularly 
favourable season, just after the winter rains, 
when the country was covered for a few 
weeks with grass and wild flowers. Our 
horses were literally in clover, and at one 
spot, where we pitched our tent for the night, 
we picked nineteen varieties of wild flowers 
within a few yards of the tent door. Yet 
nothing strikes the traveller so much as the 
immense quantity of thorns and thistles that 
cover the greater part of Mesopotamia and 
Asiatic Turkey ; millions of acres of good 
arable land are overrun with thorns and 

Its Dreary Desolation 13 

weeds, indicative of the grossest possible 

The whole country has, likewise, been 
practically deforested ; the very roots of 
trees have been sold at 40s. a ton to provide 
fuel for the population. When travelling 
once from Kifri to Mosul I noted the fact that 
for a distance of seventy miles, where the soil 
was capable of producing the fairest vegeta- 
tion, we passed but one solitary tree, 

Mesopotamia is now an ideal entomologists' 
paradise, for nothing seemed to flourish so 
profusely as the vermin and insect life. I 
caught sixty scorpions one winter in the 
ground floor of my Bagdad house. I have 
attacked centipedes in my drawing-room and 
haye shaken them out of my blankets. 
Mosquitoes were numerous enough, but the 
sand-flies were everywhere ; the common 
house-fly attacked you in battalions, and was 
gifted with a more piercing bite than the 
average mosquito. Some one has truly said 
that "the tiniest little insect in Mesopotamia 
night and day faithfully does its bit." When 
in summer, according to custom, we dined 
upon the roof of the house, our table was 
often covered with a multitude of winged 
insects, varying in size from the largest beetle 
to the smallest may-fly. 

On account of the neglected banks, there 
were frequent floods and unsavoury swamps 
where myriads of insects breed. I was once 

14 Mesopotamia : 

lost for hours, while being punted in a native 
boat, amid the tall reeds of one of these 
swamps that covered an area of twenty-five 
square miles. 

In 1895 an unprecedented rise in the river 
destroyed some of the banks to the north of 
Bagdad, with the result that four hundred 
square miles of arable land was covered with 
deep water. The city was an island for 
months. Twelve hundred brick-buUt dwel- 
lings collapsed, and from two to six feet of 
water appeared in the serdabs or cellars of 
every house. Hundreds of Arabs lost their 
lives, many mud and mat villages were swept 
away, while thousands of sheep perished. 

One strange result of these continuous 
floods was the plague of frogs. They literally 
swarmed by the million in the swamps and 
pools. They were possessed of an astonish- 
ing variety of voices, so that you could hear 
their squeaking, squealing, singing, and 
croaking long before you came in sight of 
the reeds or could smell the odours of their 
watery home. 

Travelling on one occasion from Bagdad 
to Babylon, I calculated upon reaching my 
first stopping-place at the end of a five-hours 
ride, but we suddenly came across an unex- 
pected flood which necessitated a detour that 
lengthened our journey by three hours. I was 
desperately hungry, for the food was locked 
up in the mule trunks, and we dared not stop 

Its Dreary Desolation 15 

lest we should be benighted in a roadless and 
robber-infested plain. We reached, at length, 
a pontoon bridge, and were received by 
polite Turkish officials, who refreshed us with 
black coffee and levied an enormous tax, 
which we gladly paid for the privilege of 
escaping from the flooded plain. 

On arrival at the caravanserai that night 
we overheard the Arab muleteers cursing the 
Turkish officials, who, in view of the busy 
pilgrim season which had just begun, took 
advantage of a rise of the rivers, breached 
their banks, flooded the pilgrim road, farmed 
out the taxes of a new pontoon bridge, and 
pocketed thousands of pounds till the floods 
subsided, for great were the spoils which the 
Turkish governors shared with the robber 
bands who looted the benighted caravans 
that failed to reach the bridge before dusk. 

The great River Euphrates became un- 
navigable through the folly of the Turks, and 
the river bed at Babylon was often absolutely 
dry. In order to irrigate some Crown lands 
property, foolish Turkish officials opened a 
watercourse some miles north of Babylon in 
such a way that the bulk of the waters 
created the new Hindiah Canal and flooded 
an enormous area of once cultivable land. 
Thousands of pounds were annually spent on 
a feeble attempt to repair the damage that 
was done, until at last a British engineering 
firm was called in to erect the magnificent 

i6 Mesopotamia : 

barrage, which was completed a few months 
before the outbreak of war, and stands as a 
monument to the skill of British engineers. 
It began successfully to stem the waters of 
the Hindiah flood and drove* back a fair por- 
tion of the stream into the original channel 
of the Euphrates, restoring prosperity to the 
ruined gardens of Babylon. 

One could not but admire the energies of 
German archaeologists who nobly supple- 
mented the earlier efforts of British excava- 
tors in an attempt to preserve the ancient 
treasures of Mesopotamia. The Turks them- 
selves preserved nothing, and have left no 
monuments of their own behind them. There 
is not a single building — ^not even a ruin — a 
canal, a bridge, or a solitary tree to which we 
could point as a worthy monument to the 
centuries of Turkish occupation of Mesopo- 
tamia. This most fertile region of the earth 
that enriched the inhabited world for thou- 
sands of years has been gradually reduced to 
dust and ashes, and even the precious monu- 
ments of its ancient glories have suffered from 
the ruthless folly and vandalism of the Turk. 
The authorities permitted the mounds of 
Babylon to be used as a quarry, and the well- 
made bricks of Nebuchadnezzar can be seen 
in the older houses of Bagdad and the small 
towns on the Euphrates. 

In 1898 I stood before two marble monu- 
ments of winged Assyrian lions amid the 

its Dreary Desolation 17 

ruins of ancient Nineveh ; but on a second 
visit, four years later, I noticed that one of 
them had been broken to pieces. The miller 
close by wanted some stone for the repair of 
his mill, so he gave a bribe to the Turkish 
guardian, and the marble lion, worth hundreds 
of pounds, was demolished for a few piastres. 

Ctesiphon has also suffered from gross 
neglect. Forty years ago both wings of the 
fagade were standing by. the sides of the 
wonderful arch. But the ruin was of no 
account to the Turk, and the bricks within 
reach at the base were extracted and disposed 
of in return for small bribes to petty officials, 
so that one of the wings eventually gave way, 
and the fallen material was used for the paltry 
structures at Salman Pak. 

Mesopotamia contains many underground 
rivers of valuable petroleum which here and 
there finds its way to the surface. I was once 
travelling down the Tigris from Mosul upon 
a raft of inflated sheepskins when, near 
Gyarah, we came to a black rock protruding 
from mid-stream, out of which there flowed a 
stream of oil almost as thick as one's wrist, 
polluting the river for many mUes 'below. 

The ridiculous efforts made by the Turks 
to utilise a minimum quantity of this valuable 
oil may provide a ludicrous reason for the 
Turkish claim to a place, in this twentieth 
century, amongst the civilised nations of 

i8 Mesopotamia : 

Mesopotamia has an evil name amongst 
medical specialists as being the home of the 
bubonic plague, which has often spread to 
other lands from these dreaded regions, and 
in 183 1 carried off half thg population of 
Bagdad. Our British Mission doctors have 
been the only medical men who dared, on 
three separate occasions within the last 
twenty years, when the Turks fled from the 
city, to stay behind and grapple with the 
desolating ravages of cholera. I once accom- 
panied our doctor to a large village near 
Mosul, where he found 60 per cent, of the 
villagers suffering from ophthalmia, and at 
least 10 per cent, of them had lost their sight. 
There was not a single municipal hospital or 
dispensary in the whole vilayet. 

It is impossible to adequately describe the 
puerility which characterised the acts of 
quarantine officials. It may be that some of 
the chief officials honestly formulated rules 
for safeguarding the health of the inhabitants, 
but certainly, in actual practice, the elaborate 
quarantine arrangements were carried out 
with the sole object of blackmailing travellers 
and filling the pockets of officials. The 
lazarettos were death-traps and the hotbeds 
of epidemics. 

The Turkish Customs were of a like char- 
acter. The Government Treasury suffered 
from the absurdities of a system that farmed 
out the privilege of receiving bribes from 

Its Dreary Desolation m 

merchants and travellers who brought goods 
into the country. There were custom-houses 
everywhere ; the officials at Busrah would 
board the steamers and worry the passengers 
for paltry presents. Then, again, at Bagdad 
another set of officials had to be similarly 
satisfied, and so on at every large town in 

My valuable library was the bane of the 
Bagdad censor and an awful grief to my 
innocent heart when first I wandered abroad. 
Six hundred precious books were strewn for 
weeks about the floor of the censor's office 
and frequently trampled underfoot. The 
young Jewish interpreter was supposed to 
read them through and scrawl his name, 
without a capital letter, over the front page 
of every volume before it could be passed. 
Week by week he came to my house beaming 
with smiles, expecting a few silver coins, 
which added considerably to the facility with 
which he reviewed my scholastic treasures in 
many hitherto unknown tongues. A brand- 
new copy of the "Historical Geography of 
the Holy Land," with seventy other similar 
valuable books, were pilfered from me by the 
Chairman of the Council of Education. In 
spite of much correspondence, and even an 
appeal to Constantinople, such dangerous 
geographical volumes could not possibly be 
allowed to enter the enlightened city of 

20 Mesopotamia : 

I opened book stores in Mosul and in 
Bagdad, and sent my agent on a long journey 
to Beyrout that he might purchase stock from 
the different publishing houses of that great 
Turkish city. I determined to sell nothing 
that was not officially permitted or produced 
in the Turkish Empire itself. Hundreds of 
books, however, were purloined by the 
censor, and amongst them three dozen copies 
of "The Arabian Nights' Entertainment," in 
Arabic, published by a Beyrout press, were 
ruthlessly destroyed, so the Turkish officials 
told me ; but I saw them later on being sold 
by my native rivals in the bazaar. 

I opened the only British schools in Meso- 
potamia after fifteen months of wearisome 
conflicts with the Council of Education. One 
of my bosom friends and a companion in 
adversity, whom I frequently met at the 
Education Office, was the headmaster of the 
Turkish Military School, a rej&ned Turk of 
reforming tendencies and enlightened views. 
He did his best for his country ; but his 
sufferings at the hands of the standardised 
Turk during the fifteen years I was intimately 
acquainted with him would fill a volume of a 
deeply depressing type. 

Mesopotamia provided a striking example 
of the whole corrupt and foolish system of 
Turkish civil administration. 

The Wall Governor bought his appointment 
in Constantinople. On arrival at Mosul, 

Its Dreary Desolation 21 

Bagdad, or Busrah, his chief concern was to 
recoup his impoverished purse. The local 
chiefs, minor officials, and all those who had 
paid for his predecessor's friendship, must 
now hurry up and bring fresh presents or fall 
into disfavour and be deposed. 

A tour of the vilayet would be undertaken 
as soon as possible, not for administrative 
purposes, but chiefly for finding out what 
means there were of squeezing the sheikhs 
and the populace. The prisons at such times 
were filled not with criminals, but with 
recalcitrant chiefs who, for some reason or 
other, had failed to produce the dues which 
the Governor had imposed. 

The construction of rog.ds, railways, and 
works of public utility was impossible by 
such methods. They took too long to bring 
adequate remuneration to the promoters of 
such schemes, and Turkish governors were 
being constantly changed through the appear- 
ance at the Sublime Porte of a higher bidder 
for the coveted post. 

The average Turkish official found it more 
convenient to make terms with the ruffians 
of the Empire and the robber bands. The 
truly respectable Arabs looked with disdain 
upon the Maadani tribes of Lower Mesopo- 
tamia, who were expert thieves, as the 
British troops learned to their cost, when ;o 
often blankets, bedding, crockery, and 
saddlery took to themselves legs, and even a 

22 Mesopotamia : 

marquee under force majeure walked away 
one night from the British camp. 

It paid the Turkish officials to share the 
spoils with these uncouth gipsies. They 
could easily pretend abhorrence of their 
crimes, and when, by a stroke of good luck, 
the Arabs robbed a consul instead of a pious 
pilgrim the Turks could display their zeal for 
righteousness by hurrying forth with a puni- 
tive expedition and depriving the poor 
robbers of their promised share of all last 
season's loot. 

When approaching Kerkuk on one occa- 
sion, we suddenly espied a band of the 
terrible Hamavand. The zaptiah warned me 
to hide my money at the bottom of my 
Wellington boots, to put on my blue goggles 
and sun helmet so as to look as dignified a 
European as possible, whUe he himself rode 
ahead to parley with the robber chief. 
Silently and solemnly we approached the 
band of over fifty well-armed horsemen. 
Suddenly the chief's son dashed out from 
amongst the others and came galloping on 
towards me. He raised his rifle, and I feared 
the Turkish zaptiah had failed to come to 
terms with the chief, so that we were doomed 
to be robbed. It was only when the muzzle of 
his gun was within a couple of yards of my 
breast that he suddenly burst into laughter, 
swerved round, and exclaimed that he was 
only showing me what a clever man he was. 

Its Dreary Desolation 23 

and that because I was an Englishman his 
father's men would do us no harm. 

When we reached the city we found the 
Kaimakam or Deputy^overnor had been 
practically a prisoner in the Government 
House for a few days as these Hamavand had 
peppered his doors and windows with rifle 
fire because he had dared to claim too large a 
share of the spoils acquired by their recent 
ravages on passing caravans. 

The " inhabitants of Mosul habitually re- 
ferred to Mustapha Pasha as "The Pig with 
a Gun," for the story is current that a wild 
boar desolated the gardens around a certain 
village. The terrified villagers were unable to 
deal with their enemy. They hired a famous 
hunter, who arrived with his gun ready for 
the fray. At length he sighted the boar, which 
made a desperate dash at the hunter, who 
funked the situation, turned to flee, was over- 
taken by the boar, which caught the strap of 
the gun with its tusk, and dashed past with 
the rifle hanging around its neck. The 
villagers angrily exclaimed: "We paid you 
to deliver us from the pig that ravaged our 
crops, but now you have left us a pig with a 

Mustapha Pasha was a terror to travellers 
and the inhabitants of the country for many 
miles north of Mosul. The Turkish authori- 
ties, who bleed their subjects with excessive 
taxation, were unable to suppress the 

24 Mesopotamia , 

marauder, so they elevated him to the rank 
of a pasha, and enrolled his tribe of Kurdish 
rufifians into the ranks of the regular army 
with the dignity of the famous Hamidieh. 

I have often listened to the" bitterest com- 
plaints launched by all sections of the popula- 
tion against the Turkish tax-collectors. A 
village was ordered to pay one-tenth of its 
produce to the Government. The tax- 
collectors, with their escort, were bUleted on 
the villagers for weeks. Worthless receipts 
were frequently foisted upon the chiefs, the 
numbers were constantly tampered with, 
with the net result that the greater part of 
the village produce was appropriated by the 
tax-collectors, and the amount that was left 
to the villagers was barely sufficient to clothe 
them in rags and to enable them to keep 
body and soul together. 

I reached the Moslem village of Deli Abbas 
on one occasion just a few hours after the 
arrival of the tax-collectors and their military 
escort. We could find no shelter in the town 
as every khan and vacant room was occupied. 
In a back street we were advised to hammer 
at the door of a closed shop. Some of the 
neighbours told us that the owner was dead ; 
but when they understood I was an English- 
man, who has a reputation in Mesopotamia for 
paying his debts and keeping his plighted 
word, the dead man came to life again, and 
quietly placed his house at our disposal. 

Its Dreary Desolation 25 

Turkish despotism has recorded its devihy 
on the pages of history in letters of blood ; 
it has recently threatened to annihilate all 
its subject-races — the Jews of Palestine, the 
Arabs of Syria, the Druzes of the Lebanon ; 
it has gloated over the woes of Armenia, the 
worst the world has ever heard ; it has 
blighted the fairest lands of the Levant ; it 
has made Mesopotamia the vale of misery. 
And will not countless myriads, for centuries 
to come, curse that fatal day when Turko- 
Prussian militarism combined to slaughter 
mankind by millions, to obliterate civilisa- 
tion, and to drive humanity to a terrestrial 



IT is no exaggeration to say that the whole 
world's peace, its progress, and pros- 
perity hang largely upon the settlement 
of the many problems associated with this 
unique country of Mesopotamia. 

(i) The development of its natural re- 
sources is a matter of some importance to 
multitudes. (2) The reopening of its ancient 
highways and the construction of great trunk 
railways to India and the Far East are 
matters of still greater importance, especially 
to the inhabitants of the Eastern Hemisphere. 
(3) But of the very deepest concern to all 
mankind is the prospect that in the settle- 
ment of Mesopotamia and the adjacent lands 
of Islam lies the possible doom of despotism 
and the dawn of a better era for the inhabi- 
tants of all five continents. 

(i) Half a century may be needed for the 
reafforestation and recovery of a land like 
Palestine, but a very few years will suffice for 
restoring prosperity to Mesopotamia. Its 
rich alluvial plains are capable of immediate 
developments, irrigation schemes have already 
been thought out, and modern engineering 
skill can quickly transform this desolate land 


Mesopotamia : Its Future Prospects 27 

into one of the finest wheat-fields in ' the 
world. Such a development alone would 
obviously benefit the working classes of 
Europe, for so great an increase in the world's 
wheat supplies would doubtless reduce the 
price of the peoples' bread. There are also 
excellent prospects for the cultivation of 
cotton, for the further extension of the 
remarkably fruitful date gardens and orange 
groves, for the breeding of ponies, and the 
rearing of Angora goats, which produce the 
famous sUky wool so highly prized by manu- 
facturers. The vast undeveloped oilfields are 
of priceless value at a time when our needs 
for this essential commodity have so enor- 
mously increased, when nearly every engine 
and all the most modern ships are being 
constructed to be run by oil fuel. 

The Anglo-Saxon race for over a century 
has done much to foster improvements in these 
afflicted lands. Comfortable river steamers 
have regularly plied between Bagdad and 
Busrah, and along the Karun River to Ahwaz. 
Enormous quantities of dates, liquorice, wool, 
gum, valonia, and other products have been 
annually exported to the West by British and 
American merchants. Their commercial enter- 
prises, carried on under exceptionally trying 
circumstances, greatly alleviated the abject 
poverty and squalor into which the Turks 
had driven the inhabitants of Mesopotamia. 

British firms opened up the road from 

28 Mesopotamia : 

Ahwaz into Persia, built the Hindiah barrage, 
introduced wool presses and ice factories, the 
earliest banks, and the latest machinery. 
They actually started, at their own expense, 
the camel post from Bagd'ad to Damascus, 
which was subsequently absorbed into the 
Turkish Postal Union. 

The great oil-refining factory south of 
Busrah, with its wonderful wharves and other 
fine buildings that cover an area of more than 
two square miles, gives employment to nearly 
7,000 men. The crude oil is brought from 
different wells through nearly 200 miles of 
pipe lines to the refinery at Abadan ; and 
this remarkable establishment, which has 
financially benefited both the Government 
and people of Persia more than any other 
commercial undertaking in the country, is 
the fruit of long and laborious efforts made 
by a British syndicate in a land of sweltering 
summers where dangers and difficulties 

In less than two years British occupation 
has transformed Lower Mesopotamia into 
something approaching a paradise. The 
population of Busrah has enormously in- 
creased, and the inhabitants have never 
before been so well off. Excellent wharves 
have been erected on the banks of the great 
Shat-el-Arab for the ocean-going steamers 
which, under the Turkish regime, took days 
to accomplish what can now be done more 

its Future Prospects 2^ 

ecoiiomically in a few hours. Every creek 
has been bridged in this "Venice of the 
East"; numbers of roads have been made; 
electric hght has been installed ; electric trams 
have invaded this long-neglected port ; while 
an equally wonderful transformation is 
already taking place in the city of Bagdad. 
Thousands of men have repaired the river 
banks, the Euphrates is becoming navigable, 
and for the first time for centuries there have 
been no pernicious floods this year in Lower 
Mesopotamia. Two railway lines are spread- 
ing away to the north; an embankment of 
twenty miles long has recovered for agricul- 
tural purposes a marshy area of forty-eight 
square miles, where wheat-fields, vegetable 
gardens, dairy farms, and poultry farms, all 
under the care of professional farmers from 
India, are adequately providing for the needs 
of the British Forces in Mesopotamia and 
preparing to send food supplies to the British 
Isles. These astoundingSy rapid changes are 
only illustrations of what can easily be done 
by a just and wise administration of a fertile 
country like Mesopotamia. 

Such developments have their counter- 
part, on a much larger scale, in India, for the 
armed forces of Great Britain prove to be the 
harbingers of prosperity and peace, while 
the Turkish domination is everywhere coin- 
cident with ruin and decay. 

There is one more point which ought to be 

30 Mesopotamia : 

mentioned in this connection. It is surely of 
some interest to civilised peoples that the 
ancient monuments of Mesopotamia should 
be properly preserved. The land for centuries 
has been almost closed to travellers from the 
West ; but if only the treasures of Babylon 
and Nineveh could be made as accessible as 
the treasures of Egypt, historians would gain a 
clearer insight into the records of the past, and 
the modern inhabitants of Mesopotamia would 
be enriched by the stream of tourists who would 
greatly value a visit to this wonderful land. 

(2) Germany claims to be credited with 
the greatest discovery of modern times. One 
of her newspapers declared that "the year 
1492, when America was discovered, and 
19 16, when the colossal idea of the new road 
to India was born, are dates which genera- 
tions to come will regard as co-equal and 
epoch-making." Her claim is unjustified, 
though it is probably true that the reopening 
of this old highway will prove to be of equal 
importance to the world as the discovery of 
America by Columbus ; but the credit of the 
so-called discovery belongs to Great Britain, 
who published plans for the opening up of 
the Euphrates Valley before Unified Germany 
was born. 

I have an interesting photograph of a 
tablet erected near Busrah to the memory of 
a number of British officers who lost their 
lives near Anah af the time of the Euphrates 

Its Future Prospects 31 

Expedition in 1836. It is also common know- 
ledge that in 185 1 we held concessions for the 
Euphrates Valley railway. The time, how- 
ever, was not ripe for the development of this 
important route, for the retrograde Ottoman 
Empire blocked the way. We did our utmost 
to introduce reforms into Turkey, hoping 
that she would fall into line with European 
standards and co-operate with civilised 
nations in the development of an important 
area of the earth's surface. Germany's evil 
counsels, however, have tended to frustrate 
our efforts to secure the reform of Turkish 
administration, and, with the aid of her 
Bagdad railway schemes, Germany made a 
deliberate attempt to establish in the most 
strategic centre of the earth a formidable 
coalition of uresponsible despotic monarchies 
from the banks of the Elbe to the banks of 
the Indus. In spite of her attempts to wreck 
modern civilisation, the world will still be 
able to make a rapid recovery on one essential 
condition — that the new highways from West 
to East shall be kept free from the influence 
of despotisms that defy the rights of humanity 
and ignore the fundamental principles of our 
twentieth-century civilisation. 

It was in the days of Queen Elizabeth, 
before the East India Company was started, 
that Aleppo — now the pivot of Germany's 
Asiatic schemes — became the centre of 
Britain's overseas comnjercial enterprises and 

32 Mesopotamia : 

the headquarters of our great Levant Com- 
pany. The silks from China had been coming, 
for hundreds of years, by slow caravan 
process across the old "Silk Street" route 
from Pekin to the Mediterranean, and 
British merchants forwarded from Alexan- 
dretta the treasures from the East, by 
sailing ships, to the British Isles. The dis- 
covery by Vasco da Gama of the Cape route 
to India ruined many of the ports in the 
Mediterranean, and eventually led to our 
evacuation of Aleppo. The remarkable 
developments in navigation by steamships, 
combined more recently with the opening of 
the Suez Canal, may have led us to rely too 
confidently upon the permanence of the 
superiority of our overseas communications. 

The many important changes which have 
been taking place on land must not be over- 
looked. Railway communications have been 
vastly improved. I have journeyed from 
Constantinople to Ostend in three and a half 
days with the greatest ease ; and, when the 
new Asiatic lines are completed, it will be 
possible to travel comfortably from London 
to India in seven days. It is furthermore 
conceivable that these trunk lines will be 
extended without a break to Madras, when 
we shall have a journey of fifteen days from 
London to Australia — by railroad to Madras 
and steamship to Port Darwen. 

Since the outbreak of war the Germans 

Its Future Prospects 33 

have completed a new line of railway through 
Palestine to the Egyptian frontier, and we 
also have constructed a railway across the 
Sinaitic Desert to Palestine. There is no 
doubt, therefore, that the Cape-to-Cairo 
railway will soon be connected with the great 
European and Asiatic systems by a line 
running through Palestine to Aleppo. Then 
the old "Silk Street" route, so recently 
explored by Sir Aurel Stein, will doubtless be 
covered more or less with a railway system ; 
and we may consequently anticipate the 
joining up of rapid communications over 
these many ancient highways, in practically 
a straight line from London to India and 
Australia, from Paris to Pekin, and from 
Petrograd to the Cape. All these will pass 
through Aleppo, now the headquarters of 
Germany's Bagdad railway schemes, which 
makes it a matter of vital interest and con- 
cern to the millions of the British Empire 
that Germany's attempts to destroy our 
shipping coincide with her effort to grasp by 
force of arms the most important lines of 
overland communications. It must not be 
forgotten that these direct overland routes 
will assume still greater importance with the 
establishment of aviation stations. We are 
making wondrous strides in aerial navigation, 
and when recent inventions are diverted to 
peaceful purposes it will be possible, we are 
told, to send mails and passengers from 

34 Mesopotamia : 

London to India in three days by aerial 
navigation in practically a straight line. 
Lord Montagu suggested a route across 
Russia to the Punjab, but it is more probable 
that aviation stations will be established 
across the continent of Europe and down the 
Euphrates Valley. If the journey will take 
but three days from London to India, with 
plenty of time for rest and sleep on the way, 
may it not soon be possible for our colonial 
representatives of the contemplated Imperial 
Parliament to come within a week from the 
shores of Australia to the portals of West- 
minster ? These tremendous changes which 
are now taking place amongst civilised 
peoples make it certain that the central 
portion of the Eastern Hemisphere, which 
forms a natural connecting link between the 
three continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa, 
will undoubtedly become one of the most 
important portions of the earth's surface. 
These changes will facilitate the opening up 
of enormous countries hitherto largely closed 
to modern commercial enterprise or exploited 
only by a few adventurous Europeans. The 
vast populations of Asia and Africa will be 
able to play a better part in the development 
of the continents and the progress of 
humanity. There is plenty of room for 
everybody ; and what a difference it may 
make to Europe, with the new facilities 
afforded to emigration and colonisation, when 

Its Future Prospects 35 

the Antipodes can be brought so near to the 
congested areas of European lands ! 

(3) Is it possible, we inquire with bated 
breath, that so optimistic an outlook is 
justified by the trend of current events ? Is 
the time ripe for such momentous changes, 
for the entry of mankind into a new era so 
markedly different from all that is gone 
before ? An encouraging answer comes to us 
from Mesopotamia and the lands of the 
Middle East. We must look beyond this 
recrudescence of savagery in Europe, beyond 
the remarkable revolution in Russia, to the 
still more wonderful revolt that has taken 
place in the lands of Islam, where two 
opposing forces have long been struggling for 
supremacy, where despotism at last has been 
defeated and the forces of civilisation are 
once more in the ascendant. When the 
Kaiser in Damascus stood by the tomb of 
Saladin and proclaimed himself the 
"Defender of Islam," he fondly reckoned 
upon the support of the Saracens to wrench 
from Great Britain the most peaceful and 
flourishing portions of the Islamic world. 
Now, however, when the call has gone forth 
from the Ottoman Khalif that the Moslem 
world should rise and ruin the British Empire 
by all the sacred sanctions of a "Holy War," 
we gaze with wonder and amazement at the 
unprecedented spectacle of Mecca, Kerbela, 
the Arab race, and the bulk of the Moslem 

36 Mesopotamia : 

world lending valiant support to Great 
Britain in the last crusade for driving the 
uncivilised Turk, with all his despotism, from 
Palestine and Mesopotamia. My meaning will 
be obvious to those who have lived in the 
East, but I must make this important point 
a little more clear to my readers in the West. 
The city of Mecca, in Arabia, is the 
religious centre of nearly three hundred 
millions of Mohammedans. The adherents of 
Islam are divide,d into two great sects : the 
Sunnis, to which the Turks belong, and the 
Shiahs, to which the Persians and large 
numbers of our Indian Mohammedans belong. 
Kerbela, which is situated in Mesopotamia, 
near Babylon, is considered by the Shiahs to 
be the most sacred city on earth. The Sultan 
of Turkey is nominally the religious head or 
Khalif of aU the Mohammedans in the world, 
and one well-known feature of Islamic belief 
is the supposed sacred obligation that the 
true faith must be spread by the power of the 
sword, whenever the Khalif calls upon his 
people to join the "Jehad" or Holy War. 
Some of my most affectionate friends in 
Mesopotamia were deeply pious Mohamme- 
dans, and most of them have expressed to me 
their dissent from the old interpretation of 
the Koran which justified the call to a 
"Jehad" for the purpose of massacring and 
robbing Jews and Christians and for the 
enthronement of military despotism under 

Its Future Prospects 37 

the cloak of religion. Hitherto, however, the 
old interpretation has prevailed amongst the 
adherents of Islam. Untold atrocities have 
been committed in the name of the Prophet, 
and vast civilisations in Europe, North 
Africa, India, and the Near East have been 
laid desolate at different times by Moslem 
fanaticism. But to-day we are face to face 
with one of the most remarkable signs of the 
times. At the instigation of Germany, the 
religious head of the Mohammedan world 
proclaimed a "Holy War." Every effort was 
made to bring it to a successful issue ; intri- 
guers in Egypt, India, and Arabia did their 
best to stir up the fanaticism of religious 
enthusiasts, and never before have Moham- 
medans possessed so favourable a chance of 
destroying their rivals and extending the 
faith of Islam by the power of the sword. 
The Shereef of Mecca was surrounded by the 
Turks, who garrisoned the Holy City ; he 
was urged to lend the sanction of that 
sacred place to the Sultan's demands for a 
religious rising. 

The Muj tabid of Kerbela is the most 
influential leader of the Shiah sect, and his 
co-operation was also demanded by the 
Turks ; yet both these prominent chiefs of 
the Sunnis and the Shiahs, with many other 
distinguished leaders like the Aga Khan, the 
Sultan of Zanzibar, the Sultan of Muscat, the 
Nizam of Hyderabad, the Amir of Afghani- 

38 Mesopotamia : 

Stan, and the Shah of Persia, all deliberately 
refused to support the military despotism of 
the Turks, and actually took up arms in 
defence of the standards of modern civilisa- 
tion. The Mujtahid of Kerbela sent a telegram 
to King George congratulating him upon the 
British occupation of the city of Bagdad, and 
the Arabic proclamation which was read to 
the inhabitants has been received with 
unbounded enthusiasm in Mesopotamia. The 
proclamation declared that our troops had 
entered Bagdad not as conquerors, but as 
liberators, to restore to the Arabs the heritage 
of their forefathers. 

When I was last in Kerbela I enjoyed the 
privilege of a conversa,tion with the chief 
Mujtahid. I happened to be visiting a former 
pupil of mine, now the much-respected 
British Consular Agent of Kerbela. The 
Mujtahid came into the consulate whilst I 
was there, and, in the course of conversation, 
remarked how great an admirer he was of the 
British race. He knew nothing of our Army 
and little of our Navy, except what thousands 
of pilgrims that came from India had told 
him ; but from all his visitors he gathered 
the same impression that the British authori- 
ties were distinguished for their honesty, 
truthfulness, and justice. He gave me two 
illustrations from his own experience, one, 
when Sir E. O'Malley was sent all the way 
from Constantinople to the city of Bagdad 

Its Future Prospects 3^ 

for the purpose of giving a fair trial to a 
miserable Indian Moslem who had murdered 
a fellow pilgrim, when the busy manager of 
the Imperial Ottoman Bank and other lead- 
ing Englishmen of the city were cited to form 
the jury on this memorable occasion. What 
trouble and expense for the purpose of 
dealing justly with a miserable outcast who 
happened to be a British Indian subject, and 
what a contrast to the corruption of the 
Turkish courts ! Then, also, he reminded me 
that a former King of Oudh had, at his 
demise, left the whole of his private fortune 
for the endowment of the charities of Kerbela. 
The annual income from these invested funds, 
amounting to thousands of rupees, passed 
annually through the British Consulate- 
General to the Consular Agent at Kerbela, 
and was faithfully distributed every year to 
the rightful claimants without the smallest 
diminution or loss. Some of it could easily 
fiave been "eaten," as the Arabic language 
would say. "For all the ofificials of the 
Turkish Empire," said the Muj tabid, "are 
gifted with "sticky fingers.' Whenever money 
has to pass through their hands, and especially 
if it should happen to be for charitable pur- 
poses, some of it inevitably remains behind. 
Don't you remember," he said, "that the 
Sultan Abdul Hamid was once watching a 
European conjurer who was supposed to be 
swallowing silver spoons. An ambassador by 

40 Mesopotamia : 

his side remarked how wonderful it was. 
'But,' said the Sultan, 'we can do more 
wonderful things in Turkey, for I once had a 
Minister of Marine who swallowed a battle- 
ship. The money was pr©vided, the battle- 
ship never appeared, and the money dis- 
appeared.' But," continued the Muj tabid, 
"the money from India meets with no 
accidents," and he congratulated me upon 
having established the only British schools in 
Mesopotamia, "for," he declared, "your pupil 
Mirza Hasan lives up to his education, as an 
honourable representative of British ideals." 
For twenty years we have watched the 
changes taking place amongst the Arabs, 
largely due to the leaven of civilisation which 
has reached them from India and Egypt ; we 
have seen their response to the influences of 
modern education ; they have begun to move 
with the times, but they have left the Turks 
still wallowing far behind in sixteenth- 
century savagery. 

The Arabic-speaking world extends from 
Arabia, in the south, through Palestine and 
Mesopotamia, to Aleppo, in the north. The 
whole of this country must be set free from 
the blighting influences of Turkish despotism. 
If the Arabs are freed, they will gradually 
recover their strength, and the world will 
make headway with the breaking down of 
the one great barrier that has blocked the 
peoples' progress for nearly five centuries. If 

Its Future Prospects 41 

the Turks are permitted to govern anybody but 
themselves, if they continue to command the 
world's important highways, then humanity 
will suffer, and military despotism may once 
more regain the ascendant. If Turkey 
remains anywhere south of Aleppo she would 
be able to force the Mohammedan world to 
fall back from the point of vantage which it 
has now safely reached, and would compel it 
to reassert the old interpretation of a 
fanatical "Jehad." If only the Arabs can 
retain their freedom without the interference 
of European politicians they will themselves 
be able to deal with the delicate religious 
questions involved in the fall of the Ottoman 
Khalifate. The maintenance of peace in the 
East as well as the progress of Western 
peoples depend mainly upon the permanent 
expulsion of the Turk, with all his robber 
bands, from the world's highways, and the 
grant of a charter of freedom for the dwellers 
in Mesopotamia. 

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